Design, Experiences and Issues
Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation series
Edited by Larry Kreiser, Mikael S. Andersen, Birgitte E. Olsen, Stefan Speck, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor
Negative externalities generated by mobility have been studied by economists since the nineteenth century (Newbery, 1988, 1990). Main categories of externalities concern environmental impacts, accidents and congestion. Environmental impacts refer to local air quality degradation due to traffic emissions (causing health consequences, life expectancy reduction, real estate values reduction and damages to cultural heritage), noise (causing health consequences, stress, real estate values reduction), contribution to global climate change through CO2 emissions. Accidents involve material damages to vehicles, injuries and deaths to people. Congestion is responsible for time loss, economic productivity decrease, extra fuel consumption and frustration. Externalities can vary with respect to three main aspects: place where they are generated, time, type of vehicle (CE Delft, 2011). Mobility in dense, highly populated and attractive areas, like city centres or main commuting roads, generates higher levels of congestion and other externalities than in scarcely populated and isolated areas. Mobility in peak hours generates higher levels of congestion and other externalities than in daytime off-peak and night hours. Private motorized traffic generates higher per capita emissions than public transportation and non-motorized modes. Trucks give a higher contribution to congestion than cars and motorbikes.
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